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Generic Name: Papaverine [pa-PAV-uh-reen]
Dosage Form: Injectable solution (30 mg/mL)
Drug Class: Peripheral vasodilators

What is Papaverine?

Papaverine acts as a vasodilator, which relaxes smooth muscles within the blood vessels in order to help the vessels dilate (widen). This reduces blood pressure and allows blood to flow more freely through your arteries and veins.

Papaverine is utilized to treat various conditions that cause spasms in smooth muscles. This can include chest pain and circulation issues, a heart attack, or other disorders of the gallbladder or stomach.

Papaverine should not be used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) and is not recommended to inject directly into your penis. This procedure has led to discomfort or a prolonged erection that could necessitate an operation to rectify.Papaverine is also employed for other purposes that are not covered in this guideline.

Side effects of Papaverine

See a doctor immediately. If you notice any of the following symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction, difficulty breathing or swelling of your lips, face, and tongue.

Papaverine could cause severe adverse effects. Consult your physician immediately in the event of:

  • Upper stomach nausea, vomiting, black stools, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin);
  • Skin eruptions, bruises, intense burning, numbness, and muscle weakness
  • Extreme headache blurred vision, rapid heart rate, pounding neck or ear, anxiety, breathing problems;
  • Extreme sleepiness;
  • Vision change vision changes
  • Swelling, pain, or redness in the area where the medication was injected.

Common side effects of papaverine could include:

  • Sickness, upset stomach Loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea;
  • General ill feeling;
  • Headache, drowsiness, spinning sensation, or dizziness;
  • Flushing (warmth, redness, warmth, or a tingly sensation);
  • The skin, an increase in sweating,
  • Fatigue, or low energy.

This isn't an exhaustive list of all the side effects. Other effects may also be present. Consult your physician to seek medical advice on adverse effects. You can report adverse reactions to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Similar/related drugs



It is not recommended to take papaverine in the event of a serious heart problem, like "AV block."

In a crisis, it may be difficult to inform your healthcare providers about any health issues. It is important that the doctor who cares for you in the future knows the medicine you received.

Before you take this drug

Papaverine should not be taken if you have an allergy to papaverine or are suffering from:

  • A serious heart condition, like "AV block."

If you can, before receiving papaverine, inform your doctor that you suffer from:

It isn't known if papaverine could harm a newborn baby. Consult your physician if you are expecting or planning to have a baby while taking this medication.

It isn't known if papaverine is absorbed into breast milk or whether it is harmful to the nursing infant. Consult your physician if you are breastfeeding a child.

In an emergency, it may not be feasible to inform your caregivers that you are expecting or nursing. It is important that the doctor caring for the baby or your pregnancy is aware that you've received this medication.

How to take Papaverine?

Papaverine is injectable into muscles, in a vein, or via an IV. The healthcare professional will give you the injection.

In the event of injection into veins, papaverine should be administered slowly (over one or two minutes) to avoid vein irritation or other adverse side effects.

What happens If I miss a dose?

Since you'll be receiving papaverine in a medical setting, you're not likely to be able to miss the dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Get medical attention in an emergency or contact the poison help line at 1-800-222-1222.

The signs of an overdose could include drowsiness, weakness, disorientation, vomiting, double vision, sweating, warmth, or redness, rapid heartbeats, and uncontrolled eye movements.

What should be avoided?

Papaverine may affect the way you think or react. Be cautious if you drive or do any other activity in which you need to stay vigilant.

Drinking alcohol can intensify the effects of papaverine that are associated with it.

Interaction with other drugs

If you take this medicine in conjunction with other medicines that cause you to sleep, it can make this effect worse. Consult your physician before taking papaverine along with a sleep medication, painkiller, or narcotic medication such as muscle relaxers or medicines that treat depression, anxiety, or seizures.

Other drugs can interfere with papaverine, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Inform your health professionals about any medications you take now and any medications you stop or start using.